Sunday, March 16, 2014

Dear Jodie - Gravity

Read Jodie's review of Gravity here.

Dear Jodie,

The space age began October 4, 1957 with the launching of Sputnik by the former Soviet Union.  My birthday came eleven days before on September 23, making me one of the last to be born before humans broke the boundaries of Earth.

I followed the space race growing up in the sixties with an appetite.  From Yuri Gagarin to Alan Shepard and John Glenn (who turns 93 this year).  From Neil Armstrong ("Good luck, Mr. Gorsky," ... I'll tell you later.  LOL) to the space stations currently orbiting the earth.

My first career goal was to work for NASA. Hell, it's only 250 miles south of me in Houston, Texas.  Which brings me to . . .

Gravity! What a pure movie experience.  The movie industry has produced few great directors, but I'm thinking that Alfonso Cuarón may be one.  Cuarón, unlike most, uses the camera as much as the actors, the script, the set, and the lights to tell a story. He also uses complete utter silence to enhance the mood of the movie.

We only see the live faces of two actors, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, yet I sat on the edge of my seat every minute of the thrilling ride.  Though Cuarón uses the camera to great benefit, producing shots of loneliness, despair, cold, and hope, he does not forget about the characters and the story itself, one of survival and the will to live.

I came close to death when I was two years old from a lung ailment thought at the time to be severe bronchitis, but later diagnosed as histoplasmosis, that cost me half of my body weight, but I don't remember any of that.  Only my mother's fear.  My parents told me I fought like hell. I just don't remember.  But maybe it stays in my subconscious, because I so LOVE stories of survival, especially when they end happily.

I love yours.

Though Cate Blanchett won the Best Female Actor in a Leading Role Oscar, Sandra Bullock damn sure deserved the nomination.  From an acting point of view, she carried the movie, but not without the help of an amazing director, one who deservedly won the Oscar.

Those who have not yet seen Gravity should.  It's a helluva ride.

I give it 9 1/2 out of 10.

Now, Jodie, for my Neil Armstrong and Mr. Gorsky tale.  For those of our readers who don't know of Neil Armstrong, he was the first person to walk on the moon.

This story may well be urban legend, but I sure hope it's true.

Apparently one of Neil Armstrong's early quotes while on the moon was "Good luck, Mr. Gorsky."

For years and years, reporters and interviewers asked what he meant by that, and he would smile, shake his head and not answer.

Finally one interviewer asked and he laughed and said, "Since the Gorsky's have passed on now, I can tell this story.  When I was a little boy, we were playing baseball in the back yard.  As will happen, the ball went over the fence into the neighbor's yard, The Gorsky's.  Since I was the smallest, they elected me to climb the fence and get the ball.

It landed under the Gorsky's bedroom window, and I overheard Mrs. Gorsky yelling, 'Oral sex!  You want oral sex!?  I'll give you oral sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!!!'  So, I wished Mr. Gorsky luck."

It's probably urban legend, but it's a good story!  But maybe it's true!  :-)

That's my take on Gravity, Jodie!  I can't wait to read yours!

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